Holiday Cheer

Me (picking up the phone):  I have a complaint.

Drew:  No! That’s why I’m calling you, to lodge a complaint. But you can go first.

Me:  That stupid vodka ad with Puff Daddy—he says “Happy New Years” at the end. New YEARS. Plural. Doesn’t it seem like someone could have pulled his ghetto ass aside while they were filming to tell him that there’s only one new year coming up? What a moron. Our culture is dead. It’s making me want to break stuff.

Drew:  And that’s on top of that other crap-ass vodka ad where douchebag Vincent Gallo destroys a house while his douchey friend Terry Richardson takes pictures.

Me:  I know, I hate that one even more. Fucking gross.

Drew:  I fucking hate Vincent Gallo.

Me:  Totally. He should marry Puff Daddy and wreck his house.

Drew:  Okay, now me. I’m listening to Air America and there’s a woman on there recommending that husbands buy matching mom and kid pajamas as Christmas gifts. What kind of asshole wants his wife to dress like his kids? And does he ever want to sleep with her after that? The whole thing is disturbing. Are men that dumb that they can’t think of anything better to buy their wives?

Me:  People are stupid.

Drew:  I hate people.

Me:  Yeah, because they’re stupid.

Drew:  We’re so full of hate.

Me:  Yep.

Drew:  Okay, talk to you in a few.

Me:  Bye, baby!

Advertisements

Christmas Miracles

Well… I’ve got a wicked hangover at the moment and haven’t done anything all day long so I thought I’d fill you all in on my weekend.

Friday night found me at the gorgeous home of my fancy friends Luke and Jack for a snowman themed holiday party. They have a beautiful condo right at Astor Place and always go out for their parties. There was a big ice sculpture of a snowman and the bartenders wore top hats and there were plenty of hors d’ouevres being served by waiters with trays. If I tried to set up a bar and some waiters in my apartment that would be the whole party. The ice sculpture would have to go in the tub. But their place is huge and sleek and modern with a windows running along the whole side of the building so you can feel like a movie star while gazing down 7th Street from different angles.

The singer from the Counting Crows lives next door and Norah Jones is in the building somewhere too. Mike suggested we go ringing some doorbells and see who turned up, but we behaved and simply drank and snarked over the bad ensembles some of the women were wearing. I looove a roomful of bad ensembles when I’m getting my drink on and no one dresses more horribly than a nerdy fag hag at a holiday party.

There was a guy plinking out Christmas carols at the grand piano (yes, they have one of those too) and I was tempted to lay on it and sing “Making Whoopee” a la Michele Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Since it was a party full of gays I’m sure no one would have objected, but I don’t know the words and my corset was so tight it was all I could do just to sit down, so rolling around on a piano was out of the question. Maybe next time they have a party I’ll rehearse a repertoire ahead of time.

And then a Christmas miracle happened for me: Along with the Mikes (Mike and his boyfriend, who we differentiate by calling him Mike Squared), I brought some of my co-workers and we got into a discussion with some other partygoers about earth and animal consciousness. Sushi, the head buyer at PF, and I have gotten into vicious arguments about fur in the past. I buy the lingerie and handle all the consignment for the store, and I refuse to buy fur for those departments. He liked some fur lined hoodies that his friend wanted to put in the store on consignment and I refused to take them and it turned into a war.

This was a couple of years ago and after that I felt that my point had been made. So I’ll crack bitchy jokes about the fur he buys but I don’t fight him really hard on it because he already knows my opinion and I don’t want to be unpleasant with people I like and have to work with.

For the record – here is my view: I have always loved fur. My first memories are of a white rabbit trimmed blue velvet coat my mother dressed me in. It had a fur hat and a fur muff and I felt like a princess in it. Through high school I collected vintage fur coats and muffs and had a ton of them. My mom has always picked them up for me when she would see good ones as well. But as my consciousness grew about it and I learned of the suffering that goes on, I realized I couldn’t justify my love of real fur anymore. So I would never buy it now, but I do have two short black jackets that I am just not ready to give up, although lately I’ve been wearing them a lot less often because I feel like a hypocrite when I put them on.

Anyhoo, so we got on the subject of fur and I made my usual point about the fact that in China they will just stick an animal on a hook and skin it alive and that is one of the many reasons that I don’t think it’s okay to buy fur. And Sushi turned to me and said, “You know, years ago when we would fight about this, I just thought ‘fuck you!’, and that you were just being a bitch. But now I understand your point and I think you’re right.”

My jaw dropped open and just hung there. Did I just hear these words from one of the most rabid fashion fags I know? I think there may have been a chorus of angels singing somewhere, although perhaps that was just the free-flowing vodka talking. Still, I was floored and thrilled and it gives me great hope that change in consciousness is indeed possible even with the most stubborn cases.

Then the next night Drew had a gig at Don Hill’s with Bloody Social and before I knew it I found myself surrounded by models at the front of his stage. It was like this cartoon I’ve had up on my fridge for so long it’s old and yellow:



That pretty much sums up my life so far and describes last night…

I have a strict policy about standing right in front at my boyfriend’s gigs. I think it’s gauche and distracting and I prefer to stand further in the back where I can watch a little more anonymously. To me it looks very amateur when the girlfriends line up at the front of the stage and glare at fans like they own the band.

And you all know how I feel about models – tepid at best. But there it is, because of this particular band I have slowly found myself inducted into a pack of them like Mowgli with his pack of wolves. I fought long and hard, people, with much scowling and bitchy sarcasm. I tried my best to be as terrifying an unapproachable as possible. But eventually I had to give in and be nice to someone, and since all the someones in the entourage are 6 foot tall, 22 years old, 100 lbs and gorgeous, I had no choice but to bite the bullet and befriend the beautiful. And it turns out that some of them are actually all right.

So there I am, covered in tattoos and a crappy attitude (cue the song…”one of these things is not like the others…”), doing a dumb dance with my supermodel bff (who is actually quite badass) and her lanky pals at the front of the stage. Of course Drew mocked me afterwards, but I know he’s relieved that I’m actually getting along with people instead of giving him constant grief with the insecurity that ensues when I’m surrounded by gazelles.

So there are my Christmas miracles: less fur at PF, no fur flying at the gorgeous people convention. Pretty awesome. And then at the end of the night when there were no cabs, a wasted Brooklyn mook in an expensive white SUV stopped and picked us up and drove all the way home in the snowstorm, just to be nice. It was heaven-sent and hilarious in a really comical and completely New York kind of way. So maybe that’ll be the next New York type I befriend, I have a feeling they’d love my model crew.

This photo’s a little beat up and blotchy because it’s a polaroid that knocked around in a drunken dancing girl’s purse all night, but I like it anyway.

White Cats for Winter

A lot has been going on and I owe a ton of emails. It seems like life just gets in the way of life, sometimes, doesn’t it? And there are a ton of things I’d love to blog about, like Michael Vick’s conviction, like the state of the East Village, the fact that the middle class is being completely wiped out by the current administration’s mismanagement of our country’s money and why we pay more attention to Kim Kardashian’s ass than the continuing drainage of funds for an oil war, my loony cat Roquefort, my personal insanity and my long-suffering boyfriend, my awesome Christmas tree, etc. But there just isn’t time.

So I’ll leave you with this today, as I steal a few minutes of personal time at my desk at work.

I often find myself in the audience of one friend or the other, marveling at the fact that I have friends that I truly believe are numbered among the most talented people on our planet. Time and experience have showed me that fame and true talent rarely go hand in hand and it has always seemed a tragedy to me that so many brightly shining stars go largely unsung by the world. I am so grateful that I chose to move to New York and get close to such a talented pool of people, and even though our city is in NYU ruins, I still have occasional moments of fan transcendence, often in half-empty rooms with mediocre sound systems.

One person that always moves me in such a way is my good friend Tara Angell. I went to see her play at the Living Room last Saturday night and once again her songs brought tears to my eyes, and I made a mental note to tell everyone how great she is.

Tara is bad-ass, brutally honest, grounded, and beautiful. Her soul is gentle but powerful. One of my favorite Tara moments: in the basement of Niagara, her shouting down a poorly behaved Brody Dalle with “You’re in my house, now, bitch!” Fuck yeah.

She looks like she should have been part of the Stones entourage in the early 70’s, one of the wealthy European girlfriends rolled up in a giant fur coat. As it is she was not born into that life and toils like the rest of us to keep her art alive. She has the life experience to tell a true story and the heart of a poet. She’s a friend you can count on. She rescues kitties. She’s a brilliant songwriter, has boatloads of charisma, and counts Lucinda Williams among her fans. Please take a listen when you get a chance, here’s a link and she’s also in my top friends:

WHITE CATS/TARA ANGELL

Brunch With My Fancy Friend Luke

ME:  I’m completely insane. I even exhaust myself.

LUKE:  You know, there are a lot of pretty girls in the world, but the hot ones are are always the damaged ones.

ME:  Well, that’s very comforting, thank you… Ooh! I think I’m going to get the smoked salmon with buckwheat blinis and caviar.

LUKE:  Mmm…No darling. Look at the price. That’s way too inexpensive. They’re using cheap caviar. I won’t allow it.

ME (whining):  It sounds so good!

LUKE:  Nope. Not good. Friends don’t let friends eat cheap caviar. Pick something else.

ME:  Sigh… all right…

LUKE (to the waitress):  We’d like 12 of your West Coast oysters to start, and two more Proseccos please.

ME (clapping hands):  Yippee! More champagne!

LUKE:  Well, of course, silly!

Vegetalian or Meatalian

Sooooo… I have a lot of crabby rules in my head about myspace, much like the rest of my life. Like, I don’t add girl collectors if I can help it, or girls with default pictures of their asses. Unless of course the ass is used for comic effect, then I’m all for it. And I refuse to set up photo albums for my pets, although I do like looking at pictures of my friends’ pets.

It’s also my humble opinion that it’s juvenile and fishing to bulletin requests for people to comment on either new photos or blogs. My thinking is that if people are interested in what I have to say or what I looked like last Saturday night, they’ll head on to my page on their own.

If you were just getting ready to post a bulletin saying “New pics, please comment!!”, I apologize in advance for calling you out, and hope that you understand it’s for your own good. I do think there are exceptions to this rule as well, e.g. if you’re posting for an event that you’ve blogged and you really want people to know about or say, um… if you’re so incredibly desperate for attention that you reunite your metal band from 15 years ago and then post photos from the show for people who couldn’t make it.

Another pet peeve that I know I bitch about too often: surveys in bulletins. Please describe your first kiss and chocolate preferences (Dark! Thanks, Dano!) in a blog like civilized adults, goddamnit. The only people who desire this information are stalkers and best friends, and they’re already all over your page.

The other thing that torments me is random strangers sending invitations to subscribe to their blogs. I can understand if it’s coming from someone I’m tight with and they want me to see what they’re up to or read something specific that they think I might be interested in. But the stranger thing is bizarre to me. And invariably the blogs are crappy and long, full of boring stories about being on the train that try to be overly clever, or tedious poetry about being on the train. Why do bad writers always want to talk about being on the train and why do they ask people they don’t know to subscribe to their blogs?

The last time I received an invite I decided to see what was on this stranger’s mind, thinking maybe I’m just a crabby misanthrope (um…yeah…). So I sent the woman a message back saying, “Do we know each other? Is there a reason you want me to subscribe?” and she replied, “No, but I know your friend X and I’m very funny and entertaining and because you are intelligent I think you will enjoy my blogs.” So that sounded fairly reasonable and I’m a sucker for even the most minor flattery, so I gamely went and took a look. And of course they were awful, because no one who is a decent writer is going to waste precious writing/eating dark chocolate time hunting for readers. And not for nothing, but dude, before you start tooting your own horn, maybe you should check out the person you’re tooting at to see if you have anything in common or whether they’re doing their own writing.

Sigh… But I’m not completely grumbly and foul-tempered and I do like to read other blogs, and voluntarily subscribe to most of my friends. My friend Maya is pretty genius with a sharp sense of the absurd, Dano is hilarious, and Holly is poetic, to name just a few. And I just happened on a co-worker’s today and immediately decided I must send you all there; the blogs are marvelous, made even more so by the fact that English is her second language.

I work with a lot of Japanese people and the cultural differences are fascinating. The energy of the store and the office I work in is very high. Pat has a million things going on and the store is involved in much of it and we are always on stressy deadlines or freaking out over money or trying to put the place back together after it’s been torn apart and covered in pink fabric for a party. And everyone’s gay or female and therefore way too overly dramatic. If you didn’t know what office you were walking into you’d think we were curing cancer or creating a world diagram for peace, the way we all carry on. And the store Director is generally stressed out and yelling about something. It’s a very difficult job and he comes from your typical American/Italian family where everyone shouted at each as a matter of course.

I can totally relate to this as I am a highly emotional person too, and I understand that he’s just blowing off steam and not actually intending to cause harm to anyone. I would much rather have it out with someone and then move on cleanly than hold it all in and fester. But the Japanese, especially those that haven’t been here for very long, don’t have the emotional vocabulary for this. They are extremely hard working and just the politest people on the planet and completely unaccustomed to people screaming at each other to get things done. They are gentle and kind, even if they secretly hate you. It’s both disconcerting and completely lovely.

So periodically we’ll get a new Japanese girl in the store and invariably she’ll spend the first six months in tears. Motoko, one of our buyers, was constantly made to cry when she first arrived. It was painful and because I am sort of the house mother I worried for her and tried to speak for and to her, but I didn’t know exactly what to say to help her feel okay. Then another Japanese employee pulled her aside and told her to start eating sweets in front of our former and very yelling Director, who just happened to be heavy her whole life and constantly on one diet or another.

It was absolutely brilliant and completely diabolical and utterly Japanese. Moto just sat there in hot pants, chewing pastries peacefully, all wide-eyed and with the most perfectly formed body you’ve ever seen, while her chubby and starving boss blew a gasket. The art of war indeed. And it got her through and though she still doesn’t yell she now tells us to fuck off constantly and I haven’t seen her cry in quite a while.

But it took a lot of time. It’s like she not only had to learn English, but she had to learn a whole new language of relating as well.

Now it’s Masami’s turn, and when I see her holding back tears and the Director reacting in surprise, I am often reminded of that line in A League of Their Own when Tom Hanks shouts, “Crying? Are you crying?? There’s no crying in baseball!!”

Crying? Are you crying?? There’s no crying in retail!! And then the pretty face crumples and it’s another day of consoling and mediating while sequin berets fly past your head.

Masami hasn’t been here very long and she’s in the early stages of learning the wacked out culture at a very crazy place of business. It’s not easy. And on top of being in a strange country away from her family and friends, toiling at the pink house of fashion faggotry, she’s also working in a restaurant at night. I can only imagine how draining all of it must be, and that’s what she’s blogging about right now: life in the service industry as seen through the eyes of someone who is way more courteous than our sorry-ass citizens. The blogs are genius, hilarious, and educational, so go check them out, there are only three: JAPANICANA

Okay, gotta go get ready to see Witchcraft at the Bowery Ballroom (for you stalkers out there). It’s f-ing freezing out and I think I’d prefer to stay in my jammies and hang out with the pets, but the call of rock on a Saturday night will not be denied…